our top stories at this hour -- the conflict in libya appears to be entering a new phase as the rebels close in on tripoli. protests week india in support of the anti-corruption activist and the -- anna hazare. plans to tackle eurozone that get a mixed response from other eu members and the markets. libyan rebels have launched an assault on zawiyah's oil refinery. rebel troops are closing in, cutting off the capital from the rest of the country. as the battle moves into a crucial phase, gaddafi's whereabouts are not known. >> anti-gaddafi rebels engaged
in house-to-house battles with forces loyal to the libyan leader. it is believed that rebels have taken control of most of the strategically important city. if they manage to take the whole of zzwiyah, it would be able to cut off the capital from supplies and take control of the only functioning oil refinery in the country. rebels are believed to be in control of gariyan. there is no independent verification, but reports suggest rivals are gaining the upper hand there, as in brega. there, rebels say they control much of the city. >> we are making advances on the front and our troops are well organized. >> the ramadan offensive appears to have yielded successes, even if gaddafi disputes this.
rebel leaders say his days are numbered. >> soon, we will attack tripoli. we have a plan to protect civilians. gaddafi will not simply leave tripoli. he will fight, no matter what it costs. >> the transitional council does not know when the battle for tripoli will begin, but feel confident they are close to toppling gaddafi. >> diplomatic sources at the u.n. said european countries, the u.s., and arab countries will ask the united nations to hold a special session on syria. they want a session that would call for an investigation into the crackdown on demonstrators. germany has thrown its weight behind the push for diplomatic action against damascus. >> berlin wants to raise pressure on syria. the german foreign minister has pushed for the u.n. security
council to discuss the crackdown on thursday. he wants to send a clear signal. >> we are looking for dialogue with other members of the security council. we can send a message to the regime in syria that this violence must end. >> the syrian army has besieged a port city for five days, targeting sunni neighborhoods. germany wants the european union to impose tougher sanctions on syria's oil industry. >> in brussels, we are pushing for a widening of sanctions against the regime. these should target the syrian energy sector. we expect the eu's political and security committee to hold an emergency session in the next few days. >> westerwelle said if the
syrian leader does not introduce democratic reforms, he should go. >> there are protests across india in support of an antique ruction campaigner in jail. the government has been unable to end the standoff, it dismissed the fast by anna hazare as misconceived. hazare says india's economic boom has benefited the rich and powerful, and his fast will continue until the government take action against corruption. >> they are taking to the streets in the thousands in support. protesters are calling for the activist's relief. -- release. in some areas, they are stopping trains. they say hazare's campaign against corruption is being blocked by a corrupt government. he has been dubbed the new
gondi, named for a political leader who used piece de resistance for political ends. -- who used a peaceful resistance for political ends. >> people have elected them. what the people say is supreme. they are to abide by what the people want. >> the prime minister came under fire from the opposition in parliament. he argues hazare's hundred strike is an undemocratic attempt to ship construction laws. after a series of high-profile financial scandals, it has hit a nerve with millions of indians who want the graft to stop. >> new franco-german plans to boost fiscal convergence in the eurozone is getting a cool response from other member states. austria and ireland criticized proposals to create an economic government in which euro states
agree to give up sovereignty. the proposals have failed to convince investors that the debt crisis is closer to being solved. >> chancellor merkle believes the meeting in paris came up with steps to renew market confidence and ensure the future of the euro. germany and france focused on three main proposals. eurozone leaders should coordinate economic policy, members should enshrined that ceilings in their constitutions, there should be a tax in the financial transactions, securities to cover the eurozone are not planned, and are opposed by a coalition partners. >> you can only solve eurozone problems by running up less debt. the deficit spree has to be stopped. otherwise, there cannot be stability. everything else merely deals with the symptoms.
in the case of eurobonds, an attempt to put out a fire with petrol. >> the opposition accuses the government of dragging its feet for too long. >> , an economic governance and taxation of financial markets used to be considered the devil's work. they have to accept reality. >> france and germany need the backing of european partners to come into effect. >> how has brussels been reacting to these proposals? we will put a work -- we will put that question to our correspondent. >> one of my colleagues summarized like this. nobody is happy, but nobody is offended. the most opposition came from the european commission. they said it is good that germany and france called for more coordination in economic policies, but they were critical when it came to the joint economic governance. how can it work if there are only two meetings per year
schedule? how can it work if none of the member states actually wants to hand over power to the european level? the other problematic part of financial transactions -- it will be difficult to convince great britain to join the idea. i think the ideas were well accepted. there is a chance that next summer they will be accepted. all those ideas were in the discussions before. many people have already approved the ideas in general. i think it is likely they will be adopted. >> let us go straight to monica with a look at inflation in the eurozone. >> inflation has fallen slightly in the 17 eurozone countries. in july, the inflation rate was 2.5%. that is 0.2% less than in the previous month.
the decline in inflation follow signs of slower global growth. prices surged on the back of unrest in the arab world. eurozone gdp expanded by a mere 0.2% in the second quarter. wednesday gave european markets their first chance to respond to the paris proposals. deutsche boerse stocks were among those taking the hit. >> more than half of the buy and sell orders on the market come from high-frequency traders, investors that do a lot of transactions. sometimes, within a fraction of a second. this kind of trade becomes less attractive when a tax is imposed on every transaction. that is why the stocks of deutsche boerse were among the biggest losers.
inflation in the eurozone is growing at a smaller place, which is good news for consumers. it is also a hint the economy is going slower. that was another reason for the not so good mood on the trading floor. >> let us take a look at the market numbers now. in frankfurt, germany's blue- chip dax closed in-sect -- negative territory, down 0.75%. the eurozone 50 closing up by 0.3%. the dow jones industrials also managed to end the day fifth session in positive territory ever so slightly. the euro is trading for $1.4939. this was government says it will spend 2 billion francs, up 1.7 billion euros, to bolster sectors hit by the exchange rate, including tourism,
exports, research, and infrastructure. on wednesday, the national bank injected 80 billion francs in liquidity. the move failed to effectively stem the currency's rise against the euro and the dollar. >> swiss banks are getting fresh cash from the country's national bank, which hopes boosting the amount of money in circulation will weaken the franc. demand is still stronger than supply. the prolonged eurozone and u.s. debt crises mean the euro and dollar were losing out badly. >> i think they will probably even have to introduce negative interest rates on the franc. that means anyone holding swiss francs on the account will have to pay interest. that will certainly hit home.
it has already happened before in 1978. at that point, the franc weakened enormously. >> with the foreign currency still flooding into switzerland, markets are still wondering what the national banks will do next. analysts think it might pay the franc to the euro. so far, it has shied away from that. >> in a global survey, the global economic recovery is faltering. the slowdown is reflected in appraisals of the current situation, as well as expectations for the coming six months. the climate index fell to 97.7 in the first quarter, down from 107.7 in the previous three months. survey results are based on responses from more than 1000 experts in 117 countries. europe's biggest computer games
fair got under way in cologne on wednesday. hundreds of exhibits tours are on hand from as far away as brazil, estonia, and vietnam, and china. they are all here because games are not just fun. they are big business. in germany, the industry expects sales volumes to reach 800 million euros this year. >> the arrival of public pcs has given the portable games consul a serious run for its money. smartphone apps are reaching a high levels of sophistication. the games industry is taking notice. >> smart phones are widespread and successful. practically everyone has one. the games industry is exploiting that. >> china is at the gamescom for the first time, another sign of how strong the sector has become.
this year, 550 exhibitors are here, a new record. the global players like sony are launching new products. a third of all germans play computer games, almost half of them women. but analysts say game still are not regulated like mass entertainment such as tv. >> players should be aware there are commercials hidden in some games. we want to see a law forcing such gains to be clearly marked. >> gainscom expects a quarter of a million people. they should brace for long queues at popular exhibits. more news. >> hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims have converged on the spanish capital, madrid, for the catholic church pit world youth day and a highly anticipated visit by the pope benedict. all the faithful are overjoyed, there have been anti-vatican
demonstrations. 1000 demonstrators took to the streets to protest the money for the pope party. they say spring cannot afford this price tag at a time of economic crisis. supporters say the business generated by the estimated 1.5 million young visitors will more than offset the cost. for the first time in three years, basketball star dirk nowitzky is back in his native germany, trading for championships in lithuania. his career hit a high in june, when he won an nba title with the dallas mavericks. >> dark no whiskey was in a good mood -- dirk nowitzki was in a good mood. it had taken him weeks to decide he would rejoin the german team for the european championships. >> at the beginning, it was difficult.
when you achieve your lifelong goal, you lose your motivation a bit. we have enough games for me to get my rhythm and condition back, and i think i am actually on good form. >> dirk nowitzki is back with the national time -- national team for the first time in three years. they played belgium on friday, then greece and turkey at the weekend. they are building up for the championships in lithuania that start on the 34th. >> muslims are halfway through the feast of ramadan. many are celebrating in places of conflict. we will be back with more on that.
month of ramadan. the fast from dawn to dusk during a period of reflection and spiritual cleansing. according to the koran, the doors of have and are open and the gates of hell are shut. people come together for common meals when the hours of testing are over. this year, ramadan has special significance for those in place is wracked with conflict, like libya, syria, and gaza. here is an overview of the ritual viewed as one of the five pillars of islam. >> ramadan is the fasting month. observers neither eat nor drink from sunup to sundown. grocers are still turning a profit as food prices start to climb. the fast is meant to teach believers compassion for the less fortunate, but experiencing hunger and thirst themselves. yet in some places consumption
skyrocketed after the sun sets. anyone who breaks the fast must answer to god. religious theory holds that fasting is a religious obligation. breaking the fast in public is punishable by law in morocco. chewing gum is forbidden. violators face fines and up to six months in jail. yet war is not outlawed. in libya, rebels have been fighting even over ramadan. soldiers are exempt from the fasting rule. the profit mohammed himself waged war during ramadan.
on the individual level, fighting and making defamatory remarks are forbidden. >> this year, ramadan falls at a time when much of the arab world is in the grip of unrest and conflict. soldiers may be exempt from fasting. ordinary citizens are not. food prices tend to go up, especially for certain kinds of foods eaten during this time. libya is feeling the pinch, with the besieged government running out of food supplies. nato air strikes have put pressure on the gaddafi regime. rebel groups say they are close to encircling tripoli. a thriving trade in smuggling goods from tunisia across the border is causing shortages there. our reporter accompanied one libyan who has been going across the border to buy food. as we see, his trip has been fraught with problems. >> turn right for libya, left for tunisia.
at the moment, libyan shopkeepers looking for stocks had to their neighbors. ali, for example. he has come to this tunisian press restore across the border. he generally needs more supplies during ramadan but is not finding what he is looking for. the shopkeeper says he cannot get enough supplies delivered. >> the problem is that the producers do not want to supply us anymore. i think they are hoarding their goods to sell them at a much higher price to the other side, to gaddafi. most of it goes to libya. it is a catastrophe for our economy. this is all ali has managed to get for his hometown. his pick up used to be much fuller. at the border crossing, a rebel flag is flying. this area is no longer under the control of the gaddafi regime.
but the tunisian guard still make his life difficult. >> i bought all of this like i always do. today, the soldiers stopped me and wanted to see a receipt. i said, "what do i need a receipt for? it is a few packs of pasta, milk, and vegetables." they said it was about the tunisian economy. this was interference. >> 200 kilometers to the north, another crossing point, it is a different story. the territory on the other side of the border is still in the hands of gaddafi forces. every day, hundreds of trucks pass unhindered into libya, bringing wheat, milk, coffee, and other staples, subsidized by the tunisian government. >> we have heard the dictator gaddafi sent someone to tunisia.
soon after, we were forbidden from bringing food and fuel across. it is a big problem for us. especially now, during ramadan. we cannot get any vegetables, milk, or dates. >> today, ali is allowed to take his supplies to sell in libya. but the only fuel he can take is what goes into the tank of his pickup truck. >> meanwhile, syria continues its crackdown on pro-democracy protests. the secular government and the military have made no allowances for fasting. activists have also shown their determination to continue agitating against the regime. for them, ramadan is a time of prayer and protest. internationally, it is set at least 16,000 civilians have been killed.
others are still missing. we caught up with a woman living in exile in berlin to find out about her hopes for the country. >> with the syrian national colors on her wrist band, she sits at a computer in germany, doing what she can to help the opposition movement back home. the political scientist and her colleagues are hoping that this ramadan will make a big difference. >> the opposition was intending to go out after their prayer's every night and demonstrate. they wanted to turn every day into a friday and draw on the religious power of ramadan to topple this regime. >> she is fully observing ramadan here in germany. but her work helping her fellow protesters means she only manages to go to her mosque
about once a week. >> the revolutionaries in syria have appealed to syrians all over the world. they want us to report about them and their actions, and about regime brutality, to break the wall of silence. >> the syrian exile community in berlin has organized an exhibition which documents the violence committed against demonstrators, as well as the level of support for the opposition movement. she fled to germany after a failed uprising in the 1980's. she is hoping the current protesters will be successful. >> i think the syrian people deserve freedom, dignity, and human rights. they need rights as citizens, not this dictatorship that counts there every breath and brutally monitors them, new york crashes every sign of opposition.
-- and crushes every sign of opposition. >> fasting, creates an but the with those less fortunate. at the breaking of the fast, citizens gathered to think about their country back home, hoping this ramadan will bring change for them. >> we hope the celebration at the end of this ramadan, the regime is no longer there. otherwise, it won't be a celebration. >> it is a view many syrian exiles share. >> conflict during ramadan, the focus of our in-depth. here is a look at the latest news headlines. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--